Brazil, US show that secure elections require agreement – not just cybersecurity and clear ballot records

On Jan. 8, 2023, after Lula had been in office for a week, thousands of Bolsonaro supporters, including right-wing militants, attacked key government buildings, including the building that houses the national Congress.
Brazil Protest
Photo credit: via Getty Images

There are a number of ways to run a legitimate election. But the U.S. has learned in recent years, and Brazil learned in recent weeks, that it’s not always simple.

There are technical mechanics and processes of how votes are cast, collected and counted. But those are ultimately less important than the agreement – among opposing parties, and across a society – to abide by the results of those processes.

In 2020, President Donald Trump alleged, without evidence, that election fraud in several states had caused him to lose. A number of audits in various states found no evidence that irregularities in voting or vote counting processes had any effect on the outcome of balloting in those states.

Some of these results were later challenged in lawsuits seeking to alter the results of the election, and in every case, the election’s outcome was determined to be accurate.

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